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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


slight look of annoyance in his face. “That awful thing, a woman’s
memory!” as Lord Henry had once said.

After he had drunk his cup of black coffee, he wiped his lips
slowly with a napkin, motioned to his servant to wait, and going
over to the table sat down and wrote two letters. One he put in his
pocket, the other he handed to the valet.

“Take this round to 152, Hertford Street, Francis, and if Mr.
Campbell is out of town, get his address.”

As soon as he was alone, he lit a cigarette, and began sketching
upon a piece of paper, drawing first flowers, and bits of
architecture, and then human faces.

Suddenly he remarked that every face that he drew seemed to have
a fantastic likeness to Basil Hallward. He frowned, and getting up,
went over to the bookcase and took out a volume at hazard. He
was determined that he would not think about what had happened
until it became absolutely necessary that he should do so.

When he had stretched himself on the sofa, he looked at the title-
page of the book. It was Gautier’s “Emaux et Camees,”
Charpentier’s Japanese-paper edition, with the Jacquemart etching.
The binding was of citron-green leather, with a design of gilt
trellis-work and dotted pomegranates. It had been given to him by
Adrian Singleton. As he turned over the pages his eye fell on the
poem about the hand of Lacenaire, the cold yellow hand “du
supplice encore mal lavee,” with its downy red hairs and its
“doigts de faune.” He glanced at his own white taper fingers,
shuddering slightly in spite of himself, and passed on, till he came
to those lovely stanzas upon Venice; “Sur une gamme chromatique,
Le sein de perles ruisselant, La Venus de l’Adriatique Sort de l’eau
son corps rose et blanc.

Les domes, sur l’azur des ondes Suivant la phrase au pur contour,
S’enflent comme des gorges rondes Que souleve un soupir

L’esquif aborde et me depose, Jetant son amarre au pilier, Devant
une facade rose, Sur le marbre d’un escalier.”

How exquisite they were! As one read them, one seemed to be
floating down the green waterways of the pink and pearl city,
seated in a black gondola with silver prow and trailing curtains.
The mere lines looked to him like those straight lines of turquoise-
blue that follow one as one pushes out to the Lido. The sudden
flashes of colour reminded him of the gleam of the opal-and-iris-
throated birds that flutter round the tall honey-combed Campanile,
or stalk, with such stately grace, through the dim, dust-stained
arcades. Leaning back with half-closed eyes, he kept saying over
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